Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
Bookmark and Share

Low referral rates to diabetes programs

Story Photo

A Rollins study finds that 14.5 percent of patients with diagnosed prediabetes take medication to lower glucose, but less than five percent were referred to diabetes prevention programs nationally.

Adults with a prediabetes diagnosis were more likely to receive lifestyle modification advice or referrals to programs from their health care professionals than patients at high risk of diabetes who didn’t have a formal diagnosis. More than 80 percent of those who received medical advice followed the suggestions of their provider and adopted positive lifestyle changes in the previous year. Dr. Mohammed K. Ali, associate professor of global health, led the study, which was published in JAMA Network Open.

“Our report is a wake-up call,” says Ali. “Seventeen years after the publication of trials showing that intensive lifestyle change programs for people with prediabetes can delay onset of type 2 diabetes by an average of seven years and lower other heart disease risk factors as well, less than 20 percent of people at risk of diabetes nationally are referred to weight loss programs and less than five percent to designated diabetes prevention programs.”

Email the editor